Do you remember taking the SAT's? Do you have a moment of sheer fear that you will never forget? A moment of epiphany? Or something else? My favorite memory will be my long time friend, Steven A. Tangen, turning around only seconds before the test began and saying to me "Hey, Paul, my initials are S.A.T." And he said it like he had never once given any thought to his initials ever referencing anything other than his name, as if they were GJN or VWX (do those letters stand for anything?). But it was a moment of epiphany for him, and a moment of calming comedy for me. Steve went on to score the highest in our class with a 1580. He just edged me out, like a fast ball from Rick 'Wild Thing' Vaughn was just a bit outside.
Well this past week in Korea the entire high school senior population in the country took their version of the SAT's. All high school seniors, at once, around the country sat in classrooms for EIGHT HOURS to take the test. Believe it or not, it's an even bigger deal over here. Getting into a good college is, so I'm told, almost all that matters for your future. Bad grades? No big deal. Discipline problems? Don't worry. Ugly? They could care less. Friendly? They're not asking. But if you got accepted to a major University you are qualified to do anything.
I hope my kids did well, but instead of worrying about them when another teacher finally told me why we had a random Thursday off (for the testing), all I could do was think about what I would do with my time off. But the good news didn't end there, apparently the seniors basically stop coming to school now that the tests are over too. Talk about icing on the cake. I mean I mentally checked out of high school as soon as I heard I was accepted to Penn State, but these kids really don't have to come anymore. I've heard that some do, but they spend most of the day playing in the gym. This would mean my heavy work load of 12 classes a week would deflate to a measly 9. That good news, added to the surprise day off, testing coming up soon, then vacation to follow, and I was on cloud nine.
Here are some pictures of what I did on my day off. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I'll be sure to document my first Thanksgiving in a foreign country tomorrow but I'm pretty sad that today is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and I'm not seeing all of my old friends at the local Roxbury bar. If you're there, please pour one for your homie. Peace out.